Friday, May 14, 2010

The Class of 2010

Cedar Posts had pleasure of watching "the kid" graduate from College Saturday.

Your child's graduation day is of course what you make of it, for many parents its a blessing, a release from the bondage of paying for a higher education, for others it is a bittersweet day.

For this parent, graduation day is a day to take it all in, and in doing so note those days of not so long ago.

As I walk the campus of Western Carolina University with my son, and I am pleased with the friends he has made and the girls who simile and say "hi" as we walk past.

With one quick move the clip on tie is history
and graduation day in the record books.

I remember a scene much like this twenty years ago, and I have trouble with the math, 20 years is a long time, a life time, and yet it was only yesterday. 20 years ago it was my sister's turn, she younger than I, was a part of the class of "89" and Chapel Hill was in all of its spring time glory.

My son had just turned a year old and I had yet to really see myself as a parent, a guardian, a keeper of safe, and a voice of reason and of caution.

But in one defining moment under a perfect Carolina blue sky, I noticed that my life had changed. Walking to graduation with my sister and her friends, they suddenly ran after someone across the grass to the other side of the "quad" and as I stood and watched the four of them running with complete abandon, their Carolina Blue graduation gowns flowing among the trees and their shouts of youth, it hit me, this was heaven. At that moment, holding my son I too wanted to run.

College life was heaven, it had meant no stress, no property taxes, and rules that really were not rules, just guidelines.

I filed the IRS 1040EZ short form and made better than 40k my last year of college by waiting tables and tending bar part time, plus a few other more creative ventures. Lets just say I was a party planner. My car payment was around $200.00 a month and my rent was something like $400.00.

The truth is I had more spendable income as a percentage at that time in my life than I would ever have again.

On my son's graduation day, walking past the bell tower I remind him that at some point in life the world of adultness will catch up with him, and that until now I've done a pretty good job of staying ahead of it. He said he knew what I meant, but he was only being polite.

As much I'd like to think my son listens to me I know some things he'll just have to see for himself.

Today I have friends my age and yet they are so much older, most are planning for retirement and some "God Help Them" are even considering a retirement community. They are old because they want to be or maybe because "adultness" has caught up to them.

The truth is I'm still running.


Anonymous said...

Bless you, very sincerely. I read "Cedar Posts" because sometimes the things you do with words are so beautiful and because I enjoy the 'soap opera reality' of your views of Charlotte. I have no doubt that the same things are true everywhere, but most of us do not have a "Cedar Posts" to keep us aware.

Graduation Day is a thing that most of us remember well. Thank you for relating this one.

'Getting old' is sometimes a thing unavoidable, sometimes a thing we sucker ourselves into. In my little world, retirement and settling for a pension was the release that let me 'run' for the first time since I was a teen.

Hang In; Keep writing!

---College class of '62, Somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Well done Cedar, and congrats to your son as well!

ThaQueenCity said...

Thanks for sharing this story! I have this to look forward to when my "little girl" graduates in a couple of years....right now I look forward to any and every minute she and I have together!

Most of the time when I talk I don't she is listening, but many times, somewhere down the road she lets me know she hears me....she may not truly understand "adultness" as we talk, but only because she hasn't lived it yet....just more great more days to look forward to God willing :-)

Congrats Cedar to your son and family!

Anonymous said...

Nice story Cedar best of luck to your son.